Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 62.57
Liaison Kylee Singh
Submission Date Feb. 16, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California Polytechnic State University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Kylee Singh
Sustainability Coordinator
Energy Utilities and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

Students at Cal Poly care about sustainability, they take initiative outside the classroom to organize, take action, and make a difference. As of Fall 2015 there were over 20 student clubs and organizations at Cal Poly actively involved in a wide variety of sustainability fields and specialties. The following student groups are actively making a difference at Cal Poly and in local, national, and international communities:
Alpha Omega Epsilon- A professional and social Engineering and Technical Sciences sorority that prides itself on sisterhood, professionalism, and and leadership.

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration- Cal Poly ASHRAE is the first student branch of ASHRAE. The Air Conditioning Club was formed in 1930 to promote and develop student interest and professional development in the HVAC&R industry (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration). The club promotes energy efficiency and sustainable design of mechanical systems.

American Society of Landscape Architecture, Student Chapter- The American Society of Landscape Architecture promotes education, community involvement, student activities, a sense of spirit and pride, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural landscapes, including issues related to water conservation, use of native species, and sustainable environments.

Association of Environmental Professionals- The Association of Environmental Professionals Cal Poly Student Chapter provides its members with numerous opportunities to network with professionals and fellow students who share a common concern for the environment. Club members organize outdoor activities, visits to environmentally-oriented companies, and community service endeavors throughout California's central coast.

Beta Beta Beta- Tri Beta is a National Biological Honor Society created to cultivate intellectual interest in the natural sciences and to promote a better appreciation of the value of biological study. The society emphasizes sound scholarship, dissemination of scientific knowledge and promotion of biological research. Tri Beta was first founded at Oklahoma City University in 1922 and became a national organization in 1925. The Epsilon Pi Chapter on the Cal Poly campus was founded in 1952 and is one of over four hundred chapters in the nation.

Electric Vehicle Engineering Club- The Electric Vehicle Club (EVC) was formed to learn about, promote, and work towards developing technologies that will sustain an alternative energy future.

Empower Poly Coalition- The Empower Poly Coalition is a coalition of Cal Poly student sustainability related clubs and organizations. Founded in spring of 2006, Empower Poly was created to unify the student voice for a sustainable future and has since grown into a diverse coalition of over 20 member clubs and organizations.

Engineering Student Council- The Engineering Student Council is a body of students in the college of engineering that is committed to being the voice of the students not only to the faculty of CENG, but also to ASI. The Council hosts the annual National Engineers' Week events at Cal Poly each year, as well as many small events throughout the year. The club's goals are to improve the engineering experience at Cal Poly for Cal Poly students, represent the interests of Cal Poly engineers through a unified force, provide opportunities for professional development and academic excellence, and encourage a sense of social responsibility among engineering students.

Engineers Without Borders- The student chapter of the non-profit humanitarian organization Engineers Without Borders-USA is committed to partnering with disadvantaged communities to improve their quality of life through implementation of environmentally and economically sustainable engineering projects. While the focus of EWB USA is primarily on international projects, EWB Cal Poly is dedicated to serving our local community as well.

Ethical Eating Club- The Ethical Eating Club is a group that promotes ethical eating.

Future Fuels Club- The Future Fuels Club was started in December 2012 by a small, dedicated group of students in order to promote and further develop technologies that provide an alternative fuel source to Petroleum. Our two main focus areas are public education and hands-on conversions. Not only do we take pride in educating our own members, we enjoy speaking in front of classes and the general public as well. Students can join with little to no knowledge of vehicles or alternative fuels.

Fair Trade Club- The Fair Trade organization empowers farmers in developing countries by ensuring appropriate prices for their products. Development of communities and sustainability of the environment are emphasized as well.

International Student Volunteers Club- The International Student Volunteers Club joins Cal Poly students together in an effort to make an impact not only in our community, but around the globe! As a club we participate in local community service, as well as prepare ISVer's who wish to travel to abroad where they can help in wildlife conservation, environmental protection, and community development projects in developing nations! Come join us as we participate in diversity jam and show us where in the world you want to make a difference!

Horticulture Club- The Horticulture Club is a social and professional club for students interested in ornamental plant cultivation and issues related to the environment.

Institute of Transportation Engineers- The Institute of Transportation Engineers focuses on issues related to development of energy efficient and sustainable transportation systems.

Materials Engineering Student Societies- The Materials Engineering Student Society is the student club that includes the professional Materials Advantage Chapter and Materials Research Society (MRS) Student Chapter at Cal Poly. Its purpose is to promote and inform others about the Materials field, working toward a goal in which "all human activity nourishes the ecosphere, and technology solves humanity's grand challenges."

Net Impact- Net Impact is an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire, educate, and equip individuals to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world.

Poly Pack- Poly Pack is a student packaging club at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. In cooperation with the Industrial Technology Society (ITS) the club is interested in issues related to sustainable manufacturing and packaging.

Power and Energy Society- The mission of the Power and Energy Society, also known as PES, is to enhance academic goals by providing information about the Power Engineering Industry. The Power Engineering Society (now Power and Energy Society) at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was established in 1981, received its IEEE/PES National Student Chapter in 1982, and was founded on three main goals: to provide input to the curriculum by following current industry trends and maintaining a strong relationship between Cal Poly and the power engineering industry, to establish professional engineering attitudes by involving students in a professional engineering society, and to strengthen student/faculty relationship by providing cooperative social activities.

Sierra Student Coalition- The Sierra Student Coalition is a National Society formed to assist students and local residents in running strategic grassroots organizing efforts that influence environmental policy and alter public attitudes.

Social Science Club- The Social Science Club promotes cultural and environmental sustainability.

Society of Environmental Engineers- The Society of Environmental Engineers is a student run organization that provides guest speakers, student competitions, field trips, professional resources, and academic resources related to issues of sustainability and the environment, as well as HAZWOPR certification.

Student Community Services- Student Community Services (SCS) provides the opportunity for students to act as vital members of the community, share their resources with others and develop skills and leadership abilities while creating meaningful social change. Within SCS, there are eight volunteer programs led by students that organize events ranging from helping the homeless to helping the environment. SCS hosts annual events such as See the Need Week, Homelessness Awareness Week, and Change the Status Quo, a one day conference designed to give students tangible tools to be effective advocates for social change.

Surfrider, Cal Poly- The Surfrider Foundation Club is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world's oceans, waves and beaches through conservation, activism, research and education.

Zero Waste- The Cal Poly Zero Waste Program aims at reducing the solid waste our campus sends to the landfill by enhancing the composting and recycling program. The club also aims to educate students on campus about the importance of recycling/composting and how they can practice waste reduction at home.


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

The Cal Poly Organic Farm is an 9 acre production unit in the Horticulture and Crop Science Department that is certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) with the primary mission of providing undergraduate students a place to experience hands-on learning in organic and sustainable farming and gardening practices. The farms vegetable production includes dozens of varieties of produce that are marketed in several local direct sales events like farmer’s markets, a campus farm market and to local vendors and restaurants; produce not sold is donated to the Food Bank. The organic farm also serves as a classroom and laboratory to other Cal Poly courses and research programs. Faculty, staff and students jointly manage and steward the farm. The organic farm is supported by the Horticulture and Crop Science Department, the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, and also by grants and private donations.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

Net Impact is an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire, educate, and equip individuals to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. Every quarter they consult with a local business in the San Luis Obispo community to help inspire more socially and environmentally sustainable business practices.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

The Center for Sustainability hosts a number of events open to the public each year – both educational and social events. Often the speaker series for the year revolve around the CAFES Center for Sustainability funding theme. This years theme being soil health and carbon sequestration, previous years have included sustainable pest management practices and local food markets.


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

“The Living Library” exhibit was a collaboration between Kennedy Library, Cal Poly Horticulture Club, the Architectural Engineering department, and Facilities Management and Development. The art installation showcased Cal Poly’s united efforts towards sustainability and resilience, through practices ranging from art, architecture, agriculture, engineering, public policy, and community service. Highlights of the exhibit included an eco-lawn, a living wall, and green space designed by the Cal Poly Horticulture Club. Paired with the exhibit’s centerpiece – a sculptural interpretation of the iconic Cal Poly Mustang made of reclaimed materials – the green interior environment showcased the many facets of sustainability.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

Poly Escapes offers about twenty low-cost trips per quarter with no experience necessary. Trips vary from one-day local journeys to full weekend excursions. Leave No Trace knowledge is a mandated part of Poly Escapes Trip Leader Training. The program implements the LNT principles on over sixty trips of fourteen students annually, including several volunteer based back country environmental maintenance trips. 


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The goal of the Green Room Certification is threefold: to serve as a mechanism to continue increasing sustainability awareness, to bring together already sustainable minded students, and to bring in as many non-green students as possible into the community. The lifestyle choices of on campus residents impact their peers, campus, as well as the greater San Luis Obispo community and the Green Room certification aims to teach campus residents tips and tricks to live more sustainable while they live on campus. The program tracks individual residents consumption behaviors through a voluntary scorecard and provides them ratings based on how sustainable they live.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

The Cal Poly Green Campus program, originally established in 2007, was funded by Investor Owned Utilities and administered by the Alliance to Save Energy. Upon termination of utility funding in 2015, Cal Poly took the program in-house. The Green Campus team now works from a student led model with oversight from the Energy, Utilities, and Sustainability department in Facilities. With these resources, Green Campus students are better able to focus on the 2014 CSU Sustainability Policy goals related to energy, water, and Zero Waste, and support of student clubs. Every year the team six positions are open for renewal and offer opportunity to students from all five colleges to apply for a sustainability focused position on campus.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
No

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
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Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.